Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, creeps in this petty pace from day to day; to the last syllable of recorded time; and all our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
(Note: I ignored line breaks, of course. It’s the words I’m focused on, not the form.)
If you know literature, you, Shirley, know the above quote. It’s from Macbeth.
I think about these lines a lot, rather often. I’ve read Macbeth at least four times. At least.
(Oh hell. I accidentally hit “Publish”. I wasn’t done yet. Let me continue:)
A couple months ago, at a poetry reading, I heard a woman (won’t name her) read a poem about having a PhD, but because she is Mexican-American/Chicana/Latina, she complained in her poetry that people see her as a maid, or a nanny, that in academia, she was treated disrespectfully, brushed off by her colleagues, but that she was all that, she had it going on, she had her fucking PhD. Yesterday, I attended a poetry reading, and another PhD read his poem about being black, and that people looked at him with fear in their eyes, as they stereotyped him, fearing he might be a thief or some dangerous person riding the subway, even though he dressed in a suit and carried a briefcase.
I had no desire to bring out my fucking violin for them. These same two PhDs ignored me. But I don’t feel compelled to write a fucking poem about it. I have never felt compelled to write a poem about being stereotyped. Sure, it pisses me off, and sometimes it’s scary, because I don’t know what that other person is thinking, but it isn’t worth a poem. If anything, it’s time for me to pray, meditate, connect with a Higher Power, because being stereotyped sometimes frightens me and that makes me sad.
The truth is, we all stereotype each other in this world. We live in a world where paranoia runs rampant, and arrogance, and needy egos, and ignorance (no matter how educated you might be), and stupidity.
You can vote and elect any politician you want, it isn’t going change. Maybe a little bit, here and there, but in general it won’t. Politics isn’t going to save us. Religion isn’t going to save us. Governments and their armies, education, science and technology, nothing is ever going to “save us” from our own selves. We will always fret and strut, babble, and jabber, need, want, and then we will croak, bite the big one, lights out.
I’ve heard it said they want to put chips into us, like they do our pets. Personally, I don’t like the idea of putting a chip in my pet, let alone in me. (Well, at the moment I don’t have a pet. Wish I did, but can’t here where I live, damnit.) They are wanting to make machines to take over our lives. I hear talk of wanting to eradicate diseases, even death. But life is supposed to be cyclical, not static. And I’d rather live with less machinery, less technology, as convenient as it makes our lives. And, sure, this is hypocritical of me, as here I am on this machine. I need this machine.
Is that what Frankenstein is getting at? Did Mary Shelley see potential dangers in science, with man attempting to play God?
I hope I live a long time, but I can’t fathom a “forever”. Who knows what this life is anyway? Maybe this experience is a process the spirit, the life force, goes through, and after it’s done here, it moves on to something else. I don’t mean like Heaven or Hell, or Limbo, for that matter. I mean something a human being is too limited to imagine, let alone know.
I’m not too sure what I am trying to get at. Sometimes I just can’t there. It’s too deep.